Building a pond edge for wildlife.

12 April 2013

Thursday wasn’t too bad weather-wise, so spent the afternoon in the garden. We created the pond in 2000, and opted for a crazy paving type edging. This looked good at first, but we have been having increasing problems with stones becoming very unsteady, and in some cases with the layers within the stones splitting apart. One edge of the pond is against a wide grass path, so the grass holds the stones steady, but on the other three edges the situation was becoming impossible. We worked on the far end last year, and replaced all the original stones with much larger ones, so they have far greater stability without using concrete, which isn’t stuff you want in your pond. We intend to do the same along the near edge, but the back remained a problem.

Left: pond on 31 March with old stones on left hand side as shown in the photo. Right, the nearly-done wildlife-friendly dry stone parapet.

Left: pond on 31 March with old stones on left hand side as shown in the photo. Right, the nearly-done wildlife-friendly dry stone parapet.

After thinking about it, we realised that we hadn’t walked round the back of the pond for a couple of years, as it was too dodgy, so we probably didn’t need a path that side. That has allowed us to build up the (flat) stones in several layers, hopefully providing lots of nice nooks and crannies for wildlife, especially the amphibians. We deliberately left the ground underneath the bottom stones uneven to create small areas frogs and the like can climb into: it is amazing how small a space they can use. Our friendly blackbird certainly gave it the thumbs up (claws up?) – he thought all the digging and stone turning was a great idea. The photos show the before and after – the reddish spiky plant at the back of the pond is a phormium, which we had to dig up and re-situate slightly. Our pond clearance of a few days ago doesn’t seem to have put off the newts – thanks to being able to see them better with less growth in the pond, and probably to more of them making their way back to the pond to breed from their over-wintering hidey-holes on land, we counted 14 today, with lots of courting activity going on – they obviously think it is Spring, even if we humans still have out doubts!

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2 Comments to “Building a pond edge for wildlife.”

  1. Hi, Can I ask what pump you use with your pond because it looks in great condition. I’m in the middle of building a pond a similar size to yours and I’ve been recommended to use an aquamax pond pump – which pump would you recommend though?

    • Hi. I don’t use a pump. I can see a need for if you want to have water cycling over an ornamental waterfall, but for static water like mine, there’s no need, and though waterfalls look nice, they “waste” electricity and must cause more water to evaporate. I read up on ponds before having this one built, and there was advice to make it at least 15 square metres to help it stay naturally balanced, so the pond is around that size. I do have oxygenating plants in the pond. A lot depends on what you want to have in your pond, I suspect – do read up on the requirements of whatever this is in advance, as some creatures need still water.
      Best wishes

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